Horror, She Wrote: Alice Krige

Published November 17, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

Alice K 1

Horror, She Wrote explores the episodes of the ever-popular detective series Murder, She Wrote, featuring Angela Lansbury’s unstoppable Jessica Fletcher, that were highlighted by performances from genre film actors.

Show business is full of complications…professional jealousies, Napoleon complexes, cold blooded killers. The sweet Nina Cochran (Alice Krige) definitely discovers this to be true on Murder in the Afternoon, a second season episode of Murder, She Wrote.

Alice K2The niece of the series’ stalwart Jessica Fletcher, a mystery writer who continuously finds herself solving real crimes, Cochran is accused of offing Joyce Holleran (Jessica Walter, Play Misty For Me), the evil head writer of the soap on which she appears. Of course, Cochran isn’t the only suspect for doing away with this callous doom bringer. Holleran has threatened the jobs of many of the show’s beloved cast, including the indulgent, adulterous Bibi Hartman (Tricia O’Neil, Piranha II: The Spawning).

Capped by a double red herring, this episode, nicely, allows Krige to display a full range of emotions. Fear and anger, naturally, figure prominently here. But true movie buffs may delight most to Krige’s sweet scenes with Lansbury and golden age character actress Lurene Tuttle (Psycho, Niagara, Don’t Bother to Knock), who plays Krige’s devoted grandmother with a daft charm.

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Krige, who gave sophisticated and passionate performances in such horror offerings as Ghost Story, Sleepwalkers, Silent Hill and Stay Alive, also works well amongst the vindictive environs of  Walter and O’Neill. She, wisely, plays off their characters’ inherent selfishness with a firm and determined resolve of her very own. …and while that surely doesn’t provide much love in the afternoon, as those daytime ads in the flashy ‘80s always proclaimed, it most certainly allows for plenty of delicious, lightweight fun!

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Curse of the Hag

Published November 17, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

Curse of the Hag

My buddy Jared insists that witches should be the next big trend in horror films. Now, if he’s talking kick-ass, feminist spellcasters – and I’m sure he is – then he just might be right on track.

For…massively awesome director Carolyn Baker has just unleashed the trailer for her latest Wisconsin based DIY effort Curse of the Hag…and it looks spooky, atmospheric and full of tough, complicated women.

The film, which is currently being submitted for festival circuit, can be followed at https://www.facebook.com/CurseoftheHag.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan

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Brooke Bundy Fan Page

Published November 4, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

Brooke Charlies

She played Elaine Parker, the mother that you love to hate, in the A Nightmare on Elm Street series, but true celluloid buffs know that the versatile Brooke Bundy played a wide variety of roles throughout her career. Like her doomed Diana on General Hospital, whose murder has long been considered one of the greatest crime mystery plotlines of the golden age of the soap operas, many of these credits took place on a variety of popular television shows.

Perhaps most notably, the first season of Charlie’s Angels found Bundy interacting with Farrah and crew as an ex-street walker turned Las Vegas chorus girl wanna-be. Her character, filled with both a sense of street smarts and sweetness by this layered performer, was even romanced here by David Doyle’s goofily lovable Bosley. Brooke Chips

Of course, Parker was not the only troubled mother in Bundy’s arsenal. Not as famously, perhaps, she played another matriarch on the final season of CHiPS. Here, as the emotionally unstable parent of a young girl played by Halloween’s Kyle Richards, she nicely shows a lot of subtlety and depth even though she is only featured in a couple of scenes. The quiet seriousness she adds also brings a bit of believability to this jump the shark episode that focuses on a space alien that is trying to bring Richards back to its home planet.

Brooke Circle of Fear

Bundy also appeared on a variety of interesting yet more obscure television shows, as well.  A 1973 episode of Circle of Fear, an unusual and short lived horror anthology series, found her playing a member of an artists’ colony who is suddenly sucked into an ancient bottle by a vengeful group of pagan gods and goddesses. That same year, her sensible character was unable to save her man from the sensual lure of Lesley Ann Warren’s vampiric succubus on the Death on a Barge entry of Night Gallery, a vignette that was directed by none other than Star Trek’s most legendary Vulcan, Leonard Nimoy.

Nicely, now you can celebrate all of these interesting credits and so many more at Bundy’s recently created fan page: https://www.facebook.com/brookebundyfanpage/. Her activities, such as con appearances, will be noted there, as well.

So, as the shout of “Kristen!” whistles through your brain…until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Zombie Bathhouse Chronicles: Paging Dr. Martino!

Published October 21, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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Hmmm…That old performing truism about not writing something for a cast member that you wouldn’t do yourself has come back to haunt me, as of late.

For years, I’ve been working with composer-lyricist (and Chicago institution) Scott Free on a project called Zombie Bathhouse: A Rock Musical. After a number of readings (and lots and lots of rewriting and reimagining and… well, you get the picture), we were ready to hit those Midwest stages, last week, for a professional run. Naturally, our amazing and dedicated cast was firmly in place, when circumstances twisted, as they are want to do, and I found myself recruited – or ham that I am, did I offer myself up willing!?!? – to take over the role of the mysterious Dr. Martino, the man responsible for the many nightmares endured by the show’s tortured romantic hero, Michael.

Honestly, it’s the last position that I expected to find myself in…but after some inner grumbling and heavy sighing, I’ve actually found myself immensely enjoying being one of the many creepy cogs in a creative machine again. My artistic journey began in the theatrical trenches and I had forgotten how amazing backstage comradery can feel. It’s been very satisfying being part of a unit working for a common goal…and the fact that this, (quite possibly) my final theatrical stage appearance, is in a work of horror makes it all the more satisfying.

More than anything, though, this experience makes me respect artists everywhere all the more. There are so many beautiful things involved with creating something, but so many risks and heartaches, as well. Sometimes those negatives can even outweigh the positives…and, damn, don’t those failures fucking burn?!? But, still we persist. Therefore, I want to send up a salute to my fellow cast mates and to all who dare to risk, to dream and to falter, on a daily basis. We’re warriors, folks, and even the mysterious and totally unsavory Dr. Martino would probably have to bow down to that.

Zombie Bathhouse runs until October 29th at The Center on Halsted. Further information is available at

https://m.facebook.com/ZombieBathhouse/

Until the next time, Sweet love and pink Grue, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Great Performances: Linnea Quigley in Night of the Demons

Published October 6, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

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All horror fans bemoan the lack of respect that their favorite performers receive in the world at large. For every Frederic March (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), Kathy Bates (Misery) and Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs), there are hundreds of wonderful performances overlooked.

What is even more amazing is when one of these incisive portrayals comes from an unexpected place. One may expect a lot of fun and vibrant energy emanating from the young actors in Kevin S. Tenney’s beloved original Night of the Demons, but for the sharp eyed, the legendary Linnea Quigley actually gives a masterful, dual toned performance as the flirty Suzanne here.

Quigley, in her mid-twenties at the time of her casting, has admitted to feeling uncomfortable with playing another teenager – especially as she was surrounded by cast mates that were barely out of high school themselves. But in this tale of a group of friends encountering demonic mayhem at a Halloween party, Quigley delivers with confidence and a surprising duality. In fact, her reluctance in playing another stereotypical sexpot actually gives her work here an almost Meta quality.

She hits all the right comic notes, for sure. Her flirtatious dialogue is delivered with aplomb. But her heightened real life awareness also brings a sense of commentary to her work. She does everything the role requires while giving it a wink. She seems to know that her lines are ridiculously sexual and that, while her character is the ultimate, over-the-top male fantasy, she is not buying into herself. Thus, she almost delivers a dialogue on the predictability of the role while staying true to it, as well. It’s a remarkable feat and one she, seemingly, accomplished unknowingly. She simply followed the mark of her true instinct and natural artistry.

Nicely, those in Chicago will be able to experience this phenomenon on the big screen on Friday, October 6th. Quigley, herself, will be present for a showing of the film at the Davis Theatre in Lincoln Square at midnight. More information on the free event is available at https://www.facebook.com/events/1418103908296624.

Naturally, I hope to see you there…and until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE,

Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Barbara McNair

Published September 24, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

Photo of Barbara McNAIR

Cult aficionados know the exquisite Barbara McNair from her association with writer-director Jess Franco. Forever tempting in Venus in Furs, one of Franco’s most fully realized fever dreams, she also sang the theme song to 99 Women, one of his more popular (and sleazy) women in prison epics.

barbara venusBut McNair was a maverick on many levels. She was the first black woman to host her own syndicated variety show. She also co-starred on Broadway and recorded for Motown Records, scoring a minor hit or two with them. Appearing on many of the hottest shows of the ‘60s and ‘70s, she always added elegance and flair, as well.

Here, she gives the dapper, joking Dean Martin a run for his money with their take on the standard, The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, an appropriate title for a horror blog if there ever was one.

McNair, who passed away from throat cancer in 2007, lives on in memory at http://www.barbaramcnair.com.

barbara mcnair

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Violet Reflections: Tiffany Helm

Published September 23, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

Tiffany Duo

Time moves along, as it likes to do, and sometimes you find your personality twisting from petulant victim to mysterious doomsayer. Such is the case with actress Tiffany Helm – or at least with the characters she portrays.

Beloved among terror hounds, worldwide, for playing Violet, the doomed punk in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, Helm has recently returned to the acting scene with a spooky appearance in Come True, a new horror film directed by Anthony Scott Burns. Here, though, as the above on set photo indicts, she just might be the harbinger of nasty things to come instead of being the recipient of them.

Fans, of course, are thrilled about this return to celluloid roots and Helm has already booked a follow-up role in another horror project, as of this writing.

You can keep up with all of her upcoming projects, of which slasher acolytes hope there are many of, at https://www.facebook.com/tiffanyhelmfanpage/.

Tiffany head shot

…and until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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